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In re Zimmerman

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

September 29, 2015

In re the Matter of: APRIL M. ZIMMERMAN, Petitioner/Appellee,
v.
ERIC M. ZIMMERMAN, Respondent/Appellant.

Not for Publication – Rule 111(c), Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. FC2012-002486 The Honorable Michael J. Herrod, Judge

Riggs Ellsworth & Porter, PLC, Mesa By Paul C. Riggs, Spencer T. Hale Counsel for Respondent/Appellant

Scott L. Patterson, PLLC, Tempe By Scott L. Patterson Counsel for Petitioner/Appellee

Judge Maurice Portley delivered the decision of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Kent E. Cattani and Judge Lawrence F. Winthrop joined.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

PORTLEY, Judge:

¶1 Eric Zimmerman ("Father") appeals an order denying his petition to amend legal decision-making, parenting time, and child support. For the following reasons, we affirm in part and reverse in part.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

¶2 Father was divorced from April Zimmerman ("Mother") in Texas on January 8, 2010. In the final decree, Mother was designated as the sole managing conservator of their four children.[1] The decree also established Father's parenting time and monthly child support.[2] Sometime later, each parent moved to Arizona, and Mother domesticated the Texas decree in Maricopa County in March 2012. She subsequently allowed Father to have more parenting time, but a few months after Father exercised the additional parenting time, one of the children started experiencing anxiety. Mother thereafter limited Father's parenting time to the schedule listed in the Texas decree.

¶3 Father then filed a petition to amend legal decision-making, parenting time, and child support. After discovery and an evidentiary hearing, the family court denied the petition and affirmed the original Texas decree. The family court also awarded Mother attorney's fees. Father appealed, and we have jurisdiction under Arizona Revised Statutes ("A.R.S.") section 12-2101(A)(2).[3]

DISCUSSION

I. Standard of Review

¶4 "'We review the [family] court's decision regarding child custody for an abuse of discretion.'" Hurd v. Hurd, 223 Ariz. 48, 51, ¶ 11, 219 P.3d 258, 261 (App. 2009) (quoting Owen v. Blackhawk, 206 Ariz. 418, 420, ¶ 7, 79 P.3d 667, 669 (App. 2003)) (alterations in Hurd). "An abuse of discretion exists when the [trial] record, viewed in the light most favorable to upholding the [family] court's decision, is devoid of competent evidence to support the decision." Little v. Little, 193 Ariz. 518, 520, ¶ 5, 975 P.2d 108, 110 (1999) (internal citation and quotation marks omitted). We do not reweigh the evidence, however, because the family court is better situated to determine the facts and the credibility of witnesses. Mary Lou ...


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